A Game of Catch

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( 15 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780152305635: A Game of Catch

Full-color watercolor paintings highlight an insightful story about neighborhood boys and baseball, first published in The New Yorker, by the 1987 Poet Laureate of the United States.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Three boys, two gloves and one bad attitude add up to a zero-fun afternoon of baseball. More an illustrated short story than a traditional picture book (the text originally ran in the New Yorker in 1953), this odd tale of manners showcases former U.S. poet laureate Wilbur's fluency in the compact, colorful language of sport: "Then he would burn the ball straight toward Monk, and it would spank into the round mitt and sit, like a still-life apple on a plate, until Monk flipped it over into his right hand and, with a negligent flick of his hanging arm, gave Glennie a fast grounder." The natural, informal fluidity of the boys' game is ruined by the arrival of Glennie's sullen, gloveless friend Scho. Unable to join in the camaraderie, Scho, desperate for any kind of attention, resorts to annoying Monk and Glennie. Unfortunately, the expanded format makes the characters' relationships seem both forced and unresolved; the story's subtleties loom large in this presentation. Moser's characteristic watercolor portraits feature various baseball poses set against a grassy backdrop; while technically elegant, these scenes are so similar as to seem monotonous, and don't enhance the value of the narrative. All ages.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-7-An illustrated version of a short story that originally appeared in the New Yorker in 1953. Monk and Glennie are playing catch when Scho turns up. He joins the game but, not having a glove, becomes frustrated. He climbs a tree and begins badgering the other boys, telling them "'I can make you two guys do anything I want.'" After constantly pestering them by saying he's controlling their every action, Scho irritates Monk to the point where he starts up the tree after him. When Scho takes a hard fall to the ground, Monk and Glennie are worried until Scho weakly gasps, "'I meant-you to do it.'" Glennie and Monk walk away disgustedly, the story ending with Scho's taunt, "'I want you to do whatever you're going to do for the rest of your life!'" Moser's full-page, transparent watercolor paintings are of the high quality typical of most of his work. However, as the characters are seventh graders and the vocabulary is rather advanced, the story will be best appreciated by readers who often consider themselves too old for picture books.
Tom S. Hurlburt, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Richard Wilbur, Barry Moser (Illustrator)
Published by Harcourt Childrens Books (J) (1994)
ISBN 10: 0152305637 ISBN 13: 9780152305635
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